Muslim reformist Raheel Raza takes on some common opinions of mainstream Muslims:
At the close of 2019, we see a world that is polarized and challenged by many factors. In terms of Muslims, it’s heartening to see (according to a FBI report) that hate crimes against Muslims have decreased.
It’s also positive to see Muslims taking an active part in elections and voting in the West.
However, we see that clashes still continue in Muslim-majority societies – clashes between Muslims and against non-Muslims.
Muslims as we know are not a monolith. They are very diverse and live in many countries, from Indonesia to Africa. In the West some are immigrants, while others were born here.
Every Muslim is not an Arab and every Arab is not Muslim (even though the world tends to look at Muslims from the lens of the Middle East).
So, what do I think most Muslims really want?
- Most Muslims want “Islamophobia” defined and acted against at the United Nations. In Canada, the House of Commons passed an anti-Islamophobia motion (M-103) in 2017.
- They want the world to see themselves as “victims,” not aggressors.
- They want Islam to be understood as the “religion of peace.”
- Most of them want to be guided by sharia law. In the West, some Muslims have already put this to the test as we see in the UK and Europe where they now have set up some “sharia zones.” In Texas, sharia tribunals are being set up.
- They want the “terrorism” not to be associated with Islam or Muslims.
Let’s take a deeper look at this list of “wants”:
- The word “Islamophobia” has been defined as an irrational fear of Muslims and Islam but is also spun as meaning bigotry and hatred against Muslims (supposedly because there is systemic racism against Muslims).If we were to take this word at face value, then the largest display of Islamophobia worldwide is in China, where we see a state-sponsored pogrom against Muslims which includes rapes, forced detention and brainwashing.Do Muslims at large not read, understand or realize that a genocide is taking place under their noses? Is Islamophobia only a term to be used for convenience – as in, if a Muslim does not get a job, it’s Islamophobia!Shouldn’t the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which has been pushing for international recognition of the term “Islamophobia” put their money where their mouth is and rally against this massive attack on Chinese Muslims?
- If Muslims want to see themselves as victims and not aggressors, why are the Gazans shooting rockets at innocent Israeli citizens? They may have an argument about their rights, but why are they using violence as their tool and choosing a path of aggression?In Toronto last week, there was a violent incident at York University. Jewish students were hosting a University-sanctioned event which included speakers from the Israel Defense Forces. Muslim students and Left-leaning outsiders attacked the event. Who was the aggressor here?
Muslims are also not speaking out against the violence in Yemen, which is the result of a bloody turf war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Is this because leaders of the Muslim world have sold their allegiance to either Iran or Saudi?
- A religion is only as peaceful as its followers who practice it. There is not a single Muslim country today that does not have an axe to grind either against its neighbors or its own people. There is no peace at all.
- Ironically, most immigrants migrating to the West are running away from oppressive regimes and sharia-infested societies, but now they want to set up their own sharia councils (as in UK)?
- The definition of terrorism is “the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.”
While I agree that this word should not be associated with any one faith, cultural group or people, it is obvious that there is a small group of Muslims that are the real troublemakers. (To understand the full picture and ideology, see the Clarion short film By the Numbers. This indicates the manifestation of terror in the minds of many Muslims.)
It’s difficult being a Muslim today, especially for our youth when confusion surrounds not only in the way we interpret and practice our faith but between culture, faith and the geo-political situation in the Muslim world.